Capital Critics' Circle
Le cercle des critiques de la capitale

Reviewing Theatre in Canada's Capital Region
La critique théâtrale de la région Ottawa-Gatineau

Basket of Deplorables : a mostly pleasant experience!

Reviewed by on    Theatre in Ottawa and the region   ,

Photo: Plosive Production

 

Basket of Deplorables By Tom Rachman at Gladstone Theatre

If the definition of satire is: “ the use of humour, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and critisize people’s  stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issures” Tom rachman definitely hit t he mark with his latest book  “Basket of Deploraples.”    In this series of short stories , he explores the  Trump era with an open eye , leaving no room for sympathy for the culture of his own time.  Of course, his lont journalistic career made him a knowable observer of our reality.  (Continue reading » )

The Maltese Falcon: A Family Reunion

Reviewed by on    Theatre in Ottawa and the region.   ,

 

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Play poster courtesy of Plosive Theatre

The Radio Play has been a staple of the Gladstone Theatre now for eight years. It is an interesting hybrid of theatre and radio that harkens us back to a simpler time when people would huddle around a box as a family to laugh and cry and listen to stories together.

There have been many different forms of the radio play, which allows the Gladstone to use the same basic set pieces every year with minor alterations in their placement. s Each year the set is familiar but different. That being said it is always CGLD radio; “Radio that makes you glad”.

This year director Terri Loretto-Valentik chose to recreate Dashiell Hammett’s classic detective story The Maltese Falcon. The detective yarn demands a little more concentration to follow the storyline than more standard holiday fair like Winnie the Pooh or Miracle on 34th Street. The Gladstone Sisters add the nutmeg and cinnamon to create a little seasonal flavour, peppering the interludes with lively period ditties.

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Speed the plow : a high-powered performance by Teri Loretto-Valentik and her team.

Reviewed by on    Theatre in Ottawa and the region   ,

Chris Raplph, John Muggleton (seated) and Kyla Gray. Photo: Allan Dean. speed10072484_e5a07ad975_m David Mamet’s play, first produced in 1988 with Madonna playing the single feminine role, has lost none of its bite, its irreverence -  to put it mildly -  its  male capitalist energy, and the power of its dialogue that shoots back and forth as though the actors were riddling each other with machine gun spray. Director Teri Loretto-Valentik has captured  the high powered  rhythm of Mamet’s intense exchanges.

(Continue reading » )

The Importance of Being Ernest Suffers From a Badly Conceived Staging.

Reviewed by on    Theatre in Ottawa and the region   ,

The new theatre Plosive productions has created a monster!  They have taken a talented cast, a most witty classic of the Western English language stage, and turned the performance into a mish-mash of styles and staging errors that even makes the good actors look weak.  Despite moments that do work, one has the feeling that generally, something has gone terribly wrong.

Of course The storyline is beautifully crafted by the playwright.  Mr.  Worthy who becomes Earnest in the city and Jack in the country, is eventually upstaged by his rakish cousin Algernon who turns up under an assumed name, to get the girl, who happens to be Jack’s ward Cecily Cardew. It’s full of plot twists, witty lines and hidden meanings about suppressed identities which always appealed to Oscar Wilde’s sense of provocative humour, for obvious reasons.

(Continue reading » )